Shawn âJay-Zâ Carter proclaimed that stars are born. Many recording executives feel that stars are created and curated. So what happens when a prodigy is born with celebrity DNA, but grooms themselves with such artistic passion and determination that their lineage becomes an afterthought? Answer: Daniel âDiggyâ Simmons meets his destiny as the champion of rapâs new millennium generation. A boy genius with the pen, the 16-year-old son of Hip-Hop royalty Joseph âReverend Runâ Simmons and nephew of Russell Simmons, has already written himself atwo-year career thatâs surpassed much of his rookie class.
ÂHaving inked a deal with Atlantic Records in March 2010 (post a several-label courting), the Queens, NY native has since headlined his very own tour with Winter 2012âs The Life Of The Jetsetter Tour and co-headlined two previous runsââ2011âs 106th & Park Presents: The Closer To My Dreams Tour and The Scream Tour: The Next Generation. As decorated as he is lyrically gifted, Diggy has been bestowed a plethora of kudos from premium brands in media (Billboardâs âArtists To Watch 2011,â XXLâs 2011 annual Freshman list and cover), television (2011 BET Awards âRookie of The Yearâ and âYoung Star Awardâ nominee) and culture (2012 NAACP Image Award winner for âOutstanding New Artist.â). Possessing a maturity and polished poise years beyond his â90âs baby status,â Diggyâs comfort in his new fame is just as advanced. âI love making music,â says Diggy. âSo because I get attention and praise off of my music rather than anything else, Iâm happy.â
ÂThe best case made for the embryonic genius of this Hip-Hop Prince can be heard on his debut album Unexpected Arrival. An amazing showcase of what new generation superstar power sounds like; it could easily be labeled a cultural soundtrack for the worldly minds of todayâs youth. Offering listeners a smorgasbord of subject matter, the young Jetsetter proves his album title dead-on by mixing motivational speech on cuts like the celebratory âHello Worldâ and triumphant âGlow In The Darkâ with unflinchingly conscious dialogue as heard on âUnforgivable Blackness.â Clearly Diggyâs aim was for his fans to conclude his album better for having listened. âI want to be known as a person who inspired people to become what they aspire to be,â he says. âI wanted to makemusic that was relatable, that helped people that had an impact on society and culture.â
ÂAs inspirational as Unexpected Arrival will prove to be, above all, the album is unequivocally grade-A rap. Diggy possesses an amazingly seasoned delivery pillared by precision, imagination and education. A non-fictional wisdom can be heard on the Jadakiss-featured homage to Hip-Hopâs golden year, â88â (âYou know my uncle taught Diddy, who turned around and taught Biggie,â while a Top 5 MC future can be heard on the b-boy treasure that is âTwo Up.â Already a successive BETâs 106th & Park countdown champion, Diggy has begun his ascendance on Billboard charts with singles âCopy, Paste,â the Jeremih-featured âDo It Like You,â whose video boasts over 3 million YouTube views, and the most recent love letter to his female base â4-Letter Word.â The rhyme rookieâs effortless ability to simultaneously satisfy rap purists and the opposite sex in the same breath speaks for why heâs already platinum in the sphere of social network (Over 1.2 followers for @diggy_simmons; over 1.1 million Facebook friends). âMy fans mean the world to me,â says Diggy. âSince Iâm so thankful for them, I tweet them every day. The music is a part of them and theyâre a part of me so I canât wait for them to have this next phase that weâre going into. This is our journey together.â
ÂThis young superstarâs story began seven years ago in the limelight of his legendary relatives, co-starring on his familyâs hit reality TV show âRunâs House.â Once Diggy uploaded a jaw-dropping freestyle and accompanying video (directed by Phil The God) over Nasâ âMade You Lookâ instrumental in 2009 (âFlow Stoopidâ), his family tree quickly became a mere backdrop. Then came his three stellar mixtapesââ2009âs The First Flight (over 100,000 downloads), 2010âs Airborne (itâs âGreat Expectationsâ track was tapped for an AT&T television commercial) and Past Presents and Future (executive produced by DJ Premier)ââand the Internet world anointed him next. Now Diggy has arrived and the unexpectedness is rapidly subsiding. The wattage of his self-made star power has his position in the rap game making perfect sense. âNow, when you think of Diggy, you donât automatically think of Rev. Run & âRunâs House,â you think of a rising hip-hop superstar.â